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Thursday, February 10, 2011

They're heeeere! Vegantine's Day Strawberry Love Bugs!

(Pssst... there's a brand new Valentine's Day post and it's loaded with chocolate!)

Brace yourself for the post with the most pictures eva'! It will hog up all your bandwidth! It will break the interwebs! The planet will implode!

Took it too far?

The Strawberry Love Bugs are back! Remember the ones I made in 2009? These are pretty much the same, except that I printed out their little signs instead of handwriting them.

Which one are you teaming up with?

Which one are you teaming up with for Vegantine's Day? I *heart* You or Love Stinks? If you've been reading my blog for a while, then you probably know that I always like to throw in a Mr. Grumpy Pants along with the happy faces. You know, for balance.

Wanna make some? First you're going to need to wash and pat dry about a pound of strawberries...

Mmmm... strawberries

Then you're going to need about two ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips. I melt mine in the microwave at half power, stirring every 45 seconds. If you're a proper double-boiler person, then go for it.

Dip the tips of the strawberries in the melted chocolate...


I use bamboo picks to dip them, but you can use regular toothpicks or a fork too. Place the strawberries upside down inside a small ramekin or other fairly shallow container...

Letting the chocolate set

A bouquet of bugs-to-be!
Purdy strawberry bouquets!

Refrigerate the strawberries while you make the antennae. The antennae are totally optional. I'm not going to lie to you, they can be a pain in the gluteus maximus to make. If you want to make them, check if your melted chocolate needs a few more seconds in the microwave to soften it up. Mine did. Then transfer it to a small ziploc bag and cut a small tip off one of the corners. You can print out my antennae pattern if you would like to use it, then tape the pattern to a chopping board and tape a piece of wax paper on top of the pattern paper. When you're ready, use your chocolate-loaded ziploc bag to trace the little swirly antennae. If you have no idea how to do that, check out my chocolate spider-legs video that might paint a clearer picture.

Making antennae

Place the chopping board in the freezer and let's make some buggy dots! Use the same ziploc to drop little dots all over the tops of the strawberries, except for the "heads", of course.


This next step is also optional, but I like to flatten the chocolate dots with a hot (dry!) knife.

Hot knife

Totally optional, and maybe even unnecessary. But I like the dots better flat...

Flattened dots

Now it's time to draw some eyes and mouths on'em. I used melted vegan white chocolate chips, but you can also make them with a very stiff powdered sugar and water icing. Use another ziploc to pipe the melted chocolate or sugar icing and draw their little faces.

Mr. Grumpy Pants will need a pair of grumpy eyebrows.

Eyes and mouths - white chocolate

Now pipe a little drop of the melted semi-sweet chocolate in the center (or not!) of each eye. Or you can dip a toothpick into the melted chocolate and then "poke" the center of each eye with it.

Also, this would be a good time to attach the antennae. Use a generous drop of melted chocolate as glue, on top of their heads, and then quickly attach the antennae. If your hands are too warm and the antennae melt in your hands, you can always use some food-exclusive tweezers to grab them.

Eyes - chocolate dots

Now they need their signs! You can make your own or you can print mine out if you want. I *heart* You signs are here, and Love Stinks signs are here. Your choice! Just cut out the signs and tape a toothpick to the back of each sign.


Insert the signs into the top/back of each Love Bug and you're done!

All signed up

At this point I realized that the leaves were looking a little dry and ugleh, so I trimmed them...

An army of Love Bugs! Ruuuunnnn!

The bunny hop? The buggy hop?
A nice little row of bugs, coming to steal your heart!

I *heart* U on a cupcake! :)
They also make cute cupcake toppers!

Love Stinks on a cupcake!
Even Mr. Grumpy Pants!

Did you guys catch my Gluten-Free Almond Butter Blondies at Go Dairy Free? Alisa is the coolest and she invited me to do another guest post! These are a gluten-free version of my wheat-based almond butter blondies. These wheatless goodies are fudgy, rich, almondy, and they have a yummy crusty top, which is absolutely necessary in a blondie. Amirite or amirite? Thank you, Alisa! :)

Gluten-Free Almond Blondies


  1. oh my goodness, that little love stinks one is beyond adorable!

  2. You are incredible! SO gifted and an talented. Icould never eat those. Well, maybe, especially if they are dark chocolate! :D

  3. those are super adorbs! If I wasn't feeling so lazy about Valentine's this year I'd totally make these for friends!

  4. Wow! Those are the cutest strawberries I have ever seen!

  5. Those are so freakin cute! Seriously, you need to make a holiday e-book because you always have the cutest holiday ideas.

  6. I so so SOOOOO love these! They are totally adorable! If strawberries are still on sale at Target I am SO making these for Vday! Thanks so much for the cutest Vday recipe ever!

  7. PS kind of embarrassing but I almost squealed when I saw these!

  8. Show off. You always have to have the cutest, cleverest, smartest little lovebugs on the Internet. :D I'm a big fan of the antennae. That may be my favorite part. (Or should I say "parts?") And your gluten-free blondies make me want to go gluten-free. I think I'm going to have to make some asap.

  9. I am dead. Dead I tell you. The cuteness of the bugs... too much for one brain to handle... These are so sweet!

  10. oh geez! best valentine's day post ever! Ever I tell you!

    Gosh darnit if those aren't the cutest things... and as a cupcake topper?! Too much <3

  11. You are too cool for words.

    I kind of liked the dried up "tails".

  12. Cuteness implosion! These are definitely the kind of stink bugs I can get behind!!!

  13. Oh my God these are so adorable!!!! I couldn't help but smile when I saw them. Very clever!

  14. Ahahaha :))) I love these bugs :))) Can't imagine you made those tiny antennae and painted those tiny faces :) They're adorable! I would immediately fall in love with someone who made me such love bugs!

  15. Aw, cute! And of course, I love the grumpy one the best. ;)

  16. This is a great post! I love the "love stinks" guy. haha! Too cute! Those are some great pictures and a very innovative way to spice up the strawberries for the holiday.


  17. These are a stoke of genius! 'Love Stinks!' How perfectly cute! You are so creative and have so much patients to make these so perfect!

  18. These are so cute. Might have to save this idea for the summer. It will be five months before strawberries are in season here. So jealous of those in the warmer climates.

  19. Excellent detail in the recipe.

    I would attempt it, but I fear our strawberry bugs would turn into monsters!

    Keep up the good work.

  20. Those are so adorable! And the angry loveless lady bug is the best. Thanks for the step-by-step how to!

  21. Girl, you are amazing! These bugs are the cutest! You can hog my bandwidth with adorable foodie photos like these anyday.

  22. your gluten-free blondies look amazing, River - and i just LOVE the little grumpyfaced love bug. awwww! he needs some cheering up. ahahahahahahaaa! you are too awesome to post such a great tutorial, my friend! i love it! yay!

  23. Brilliant. These ladybirds are such cute little buggers!!! LOL

  24. So cute! Thanks for sharing! :)

  25. Saw your photo on Foodgawker... LOVE it!! My daughter is asking me as I type if we can make those today! Well done!!

  26. These are darling! I love chocolate-dipped strawberries and I love the Mr. Grumpypants version! Too too cute.

  27. these are the cutest! i tried my hands at these, and although they are not anywhere near as cute as yours, i still love them to bits! Happy V day to u!

  28. Happy Valentines Day! haha! I love these! How cute is the Love Stinks one? :)


  29. I love these! my friend and I made them yesterday for valentines and they were a big hit today at school! Thanks a bunch!

  30. YAY! I'm so glad they were a big hit, An! Thanks so much for letting me know! :)

  31. Your love bugs are the cutest, River! I especially love grumpy bug!

    And hooray for gf almond blondies, I am so baking a batch asap! ;D

  32. They are so adorable! Happy Vegantine's DaY!

  33. I'm so glad I came across your blog! Found you via almostveganblog.com and can't stop reading! LOVE everything you post!!!

  34. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाFebruary 17, 2011 at 11:48 PM

    These look fantastic!!!!

  35. River, these are entirely too adorable!

  36. Sooooo cute!!!! I would swoon if I got one of these for valentines day!

  37. So I am giving you a Stylish Blogger Award


    Because you are so awesome, with adorable and stylish little beetle fruits. I will never get tired of looking at this post! *snorglenom*

  38. Aww, those are so sweet! Whenever I see "Love stinks" I always hear Adam Sandler belting out the words ;)

  39. Those are just too cute to eat! You are a talented lady!

    I must try your gluten-free goodies. I'm trying to introduce more GF, but the cupcakes I made were so revolting that we threw them out! I just know your recipe will get us back on that horse!

  40. Oh soo cute!!!! these bugs are very delicious!!!^___^

  41. bahahah so cute! I love mr cranky pants!

  42. WOW! There ladybugs look too good to be eaten! They are amazing and hilarious!

  43. excellent articles, useful for me. keep writing and happy blogging.

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  44. super adorable! Can't wait to share for next Valentine's Day!

    hugs! Kim @ Party Frosting!

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  46. LOVE these!!! Shared them on my fb page--;0)

  47. These are just the cutest things ever! Just featured them on our Fun Finds Friday... http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.com/2012/01/fun-finds-friday_20.html

  48. These are so adorable. What a brilliant idea. Love it!

    Beth @ Hungry Happenings

  49. Realmente adorables. MUCHAS GRACIAS por tan genial idea.
    Los voy a hacer para los amigos del kinder de mi hijo!

  50. This is sooooo cute!! You are amazingly creative & talented! I'd love for you to link up with my TGIF kid oriented linky party - http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/search/label/Linkey%20Parties - I kn0w my readers would love it too!!
    Beth =-)

  51. Haha, these are great! Thanks for sharing :)

  52. Just stopping by to let you know that I've featured your craft on Family Fun Crafts! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, I'd love it if you would submit them. :) If you would like to display a
    featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

  53. These are just adorable! Planning to make them for my daughter's Father Daughter Dance this week...having trouble printing out the template and little signs...any suggestions? I can open them in Flikr, but can't figure out how to print them! Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Hi Magan! I believe you should be able to download the template and the signs to your computer and then print them from there. Just click on "download the original size of this photo", and then save it to your computer and print!

      Direct link to the downloadable signs:

      Direct link to the downloadable antennae template:

      Have fun! :)

  54. Eine tolle Idee mit den Erdbeeren. Die sehen toll aus.

  55. I am trying to download the antenna template and I cant..

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